Hey guys and gals, in a few days I'm leaving from Newport News, VA (I figured I'd put VA Beach in the title since it's a more recognizable location that's nearby) to head to Beaumont, TX for a REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates). Since I love long drives and adventures, I figured I'd drive instead of fly. I was wondering if maybe any of you guys/gals have any ideas for a cool route or anything I should check out between VA and TX since most sites just show big touristy things along the route but not smaller awesome stuff.
- I'm most likely leaving early (prob around 5am'ish) on a Friday, and need to arrive at my destination on midday Sunday. This short time for the drive means it has to be a relatively straight shot, but I would still like to take some breaks in awesome places.
- I'm thinking I'd like a more naturey, wide-open road kind of trip as opposed to city hopping. I'm also going to be driving a manual transmission 2000 Honda Prelude (the only vehicle I have at my disposal), so avoiding traffic would be extremely nice in the long run.
- I'm big on photography, I'll be bringing a 5D for still photos, a 7D for some possible video, and a Pentax 6x7 for some medium format film action. I'd love for some chances to bust out my cameras along the trip.
- I love Urban Exploration, I would be more than willing to take a small detour if there's an awesome abandonment that I could explore.
- I'll be traveling alone, not a big deal but I figure'd I'd mention it in case anyone had any advice specific to solo-trips. I'm planning on loading up my iPod with tons of music, podcasts, and maybe an audiobook or two.
- I'll need to make at least once sleep stop, so if anybody has any recommendations on an awesome place to shack up for a night let me know.
- I'm on a fairly tight budget, the school I'm going to do research at is going to pay for my trip down, but I'm willing to use a bit of my own money to pay for short detours or stopping at any awesome places.
Sorry for the wall of text, just figured more information would probably be better than less.
TL; DR - If you had to drive from VA to TX in 2 days, how would you plan it out?
edit: I forgot to mention that I'll be in Beaumont, TX for 2 months, and I should have evenings and weekends free to explore/do stuff, so if anybody has any ideas of things to do once I get down there, definitely let me know.